I’m Sorry

At times I get incredibly sad about my situation- easy to do when you have terminal lung cancer.  I’m sad that the probability is high that this disease is going to kill me.  I’m equally as sad that the likelihood of me dying sooner (within the next 4-years) rather than later is great.

During times of sadness I often think about my husband, SW.  I get incredibly sad at what I’ve done to him.  I feel as if I am not holding up my end of our contract to die of old age, together.

If he is near me, during this episode, I apologize profusely.  “I am sorry, I am so very sorry,” I say.  I truly feel sorry for this situation we are both in.  I think, had I known what was to come of my future, I should have married someone I did not like.  I could have tortured them instead.

I know I’ve not done anything.  I also know that SW does not blame me that I have cancer- to him I will never be a failure.  Why is it that I have this need to say, I’m sorry? I’m sure I could read about this response of mine in a psychology book.  It can’t be too far from what others experience.  Or, is it?

About kimmywink

I'm Kim. I've got advanced lung cancer. It sucks.
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22 Responses to I’m Sorry

  1. Deb Smith says:

    Kim, I see you apologizing for your pain often, or at least feeling guilt. Is it possible you are redirecting your anguish and fear? Regardless, you have one of the worst challenges and are potentially everyone’s hero for facing it with the courage you do. Your continual sharing is amazing. Take strength in knowing that you help others. I do hope that 4 years stretches out to many many more and that remission is your constant companion. I can say with my chronic pain I also apologize often to my husband. Now you’ve made me realize how I need to reorient my own thinking and just be thankful for how awesome that man is, and respect his decision to stick around. By your sharing, we are all learning. I just wish we could give you more fighting strength when you need it most.

  2. linnea11 says:

    I say I’m sorry all the time too. I cough, I’m sorry. All I can say is that we really are sorry, about the whole sorry situation (ours, our spouses and everyone else who is affected by our illness).


  3. spencerpdx says:

    And as spouses we’re sorry that we can’t take the cancer away.

    • kimmywink says:

      I so wish you could! I’d even contract you out to take away others people cancer too. The only down side is I’d bet you’d never have time off. That would be a bit of a bummer.

  4. Liz says:

    I worry about things like this too, and I feel sorry about them, too. I worry about leaving my brother alone as our parents age and start to decline. I worry about leaving my parents to watch me get sicker and sicker. I used to even worry about dying before the dog does (but she’s getting older faster than me, so I don’t worry about this too much anymore) It just sucks. But I try not to dwell on it; as someone told me once, it is OK to go there, just don’t stay there.

  5. Lynn Gauvain says:

    I have said to friends that I am glad (weird?) that my Mom didn’t live to see me have to go through this. She was alive when my brother learned he had prostate cancer, but didn’t live to know that he has been 8 years cancer free. (Thank you Lord).
    I have said I am sorry to my children, but not enough. I told the oncologist I needed not to have chemo on June 20th because my daughter was graduating from HS and I needed to be there with and for her. He promised and even with blood transfusions and platelet problems he kept that promise. My body didn’t want me there though. It was very hot and humid that day making it hard to move around. Even just dressing myself was a hassle. I missed having my picture taken with her and I have to be wheeled in a wheelchair. But, I was there. I’m sorry not in a whole, healthy body.
    For my husband the I’m sorry part has been said in many ways. This was the year he wanted to retire. He turned 65 in Aug. Our last child was out of HS and it was our turn. He couldn’t retire because I needed the health insurance that comes with the job. We needed a full salary not pension and SS. Now I have this guilt and I don’t know what to do with it.
    Thank you for writing this, and letting others share with you about our own problems with the I’m Sorry’s!”

  6. Jamie says:

    Kim- I am sorry for all of us in this cancer community. Nobody expects to be here but you show such strength and grace in the sharing of your experience.
    By the way, I just got an email that the Lung Cancer Alliance is doing the Shine A Light vigil here on 11/13 at 7:00pm at Tom Mcall Waterfront Park. If you are interested in going, let me know.

    • kimmywink says:

      Thank you for the compliments. It is fair to also say I show my weaknesses too, or I try to.
      I would very much like to participate in the Shine A Light vigil. I’ll be emailing you soon!

  7. Melanie says:

    I’m saying I’m sorry all the time. Frankly, I’m sick of saying I’m sorry. We made a promise,” in sickness and in health”.

  8. Sharon Wierwille says:

    Thank you for posting that – how true it is. I say I am sorry to my husband a lot also…even though, like you, I didn’t do anything to be sorry for. But it is difficult to watch a wonderful spouse hurt.

    I guess we are just a sorry lot… LOL

    • kimmywink says:

      I just thought of this- I wonder if they get sick of hearing it as much as we get sick of hearing ourselves saying it? I might ask SW this question later tonight…

      Thanks for commenting Sharon.

  9. Mark Hawkins says:

    Dear Kim: Your situation, unfortunately, is one you share with millions of people around the world. It’s unfair, arbitratry, frustrating and yes, sorry. It is a blameless situation that is noone’s fault.
    Regardless of how you felt when you wrote this post …

    You met, fell in love and married SW. Not Sorry!

    You have shared the good and not so good times of fives years of marriage. Not Sorry!

    You’ve shared your passion for bouldering with your soul mate. Not Sorry!

    Because of your illness, you have reached out and touched how many lives? Not Sorry!

    Who knows how much time you, or any of us, have left? Live everyday, every week, every month to the fullest! Not Sorry!

    I could go on, but when your time finally comes, you will look SW in the eyes and say I Love You! Not Sorry!

    Love, Mark H.

    (P.S.) I attended half of those Eastside CSO meetings at the Opera Building just so I could talk with you afterward to see how you were and what your next big adventure was! And, I’m Not Sorry!

  10. Patrick says:

    Kim, thank you for saying this out loud. My mind drifts there sometimes about the whole “I’m sorry” and what some have commented about with spouses “sticking around”. As a Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiver, my wife has and is dependent on me for almost a quarter century. “Terminal illness” vs “chronic illness” the bottom line is the person with the DX did not choose to become ill while on the other hand the spouse and everyone else around ‘chose’ to become involved – now with a lung cancer DX myself I of course see with different eyes but IMHO ‘thank you’ is always more appreciated than ‘I’m sorry’.

    • kimmywink says:

      Great perspective. Next time I want to blurt out “I’m sorry” I’ll change it to “thank you.” It will take some work to break the habit but one worth correcting.

  11. tersiaburger says:

    My 38 year old daughter is terminally ill. She constantly says “sorry Mommy”…. when she vomits, when she is in pain, when she is ill… Then there is a flood of “thank you’s”….. it drives me mad! I don’t want her to apologize for being ill and I don’t want her to continuously thank me. We are in this together as a family. It is a rough journey for everyone. iMy advice to an outsider is make memories – not apologies!

    • kimmywink says:

      It is wonderful that your daughter has you by her side. Not all family defines their role that way. I understand why she says ‘thank you’ even if it drives you mad. 🙂

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